Claus Von Bülow

Ah, the system works. Just ask Claus Von Bülow. — Bart, “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”

Alleged murder week continues here on the Springfield Historical Society with the torrid tale of Claus Von Bülow, who may or may not have tried to kill his wife.

Having already started out life decently rich, Claus improved his fortunes considerably when in 1966 he got hitched to Sunny Crawford, the heiress to a vast, vast, vast fortune who was fresh off a marriage to a genuine Austrian prince when she got together with Claus.

So everything was looking grand. Except Sunny in 1980 was found collapsed in the bathroom, having slipped into a PVS, where she remained until her death in 2008. I’ll refrain from posting a tasteless screenshot here.

Claus, who supposedly had been clashing with his wife as of late, and who would have lost access to her $75 million fortune had they divorced, was immediately suspected of the crime. At trial, the prosecution advanced a theory that Claus had administered Sunny a dose of insulin, which had flared up her hypoglycemia. The widower was convicted.

Claus was down, but not out. He assembled a crack legal team led by Alan Dershowitz, and, bizarrely, Jim Cramer, later of Mad Money fame.

We’re running a bit long here, so I’ll just note that Claus actually won his appeal and stayed out of prison thanks to doubts raised over the alleged insulin shot. Here’s a comprehensive account of how it all went down, if you’re interested.

Today, Claus actually appears to have something of a literary career going as a high-brow critic type, fortune or no. You can read some of his columns here. Happy endings all around.

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3 Responses to Claus Von Bülow

  1. Mary says:

    Happy endings for everyone, but Sunny.

  2. The Glory of Being a Clown says:

    I’ve always wondered whether the Simpsons were making a statement about Von Bulow buying his freedom like Quimby tried to do. I guess we’ll never know.

  3. Kunk says:

    Not sure if this Simpsons episode or Denis Leary’s “No Cure For Cancer” first introduced me to Claus Von Bulow. Either way, I was 13 and had no idea what the joke meant. But I still laughed. Had to play it cool.

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